Google announced GoogleTV in May of 2010 because the company realized the future of advertising would require a cross-platform approach. Google knew that if they could gather internet, TV and mobile usage habits, they could build the most targeted ad network on the planet.
Fast-forward to January of 2012; GoogleTV failed and in the interim, AT&T has been developing a home-brewed ad network of its own called AT&T AdWorks. The ad network boasts advanced targeting capabilities that harnesses its TV (U-Verse), high speed internet and anonymized wireless subscriber data (from ~100M wireless subscribers), creating a data-mining trifecta that promises to outshine any other ad network’s current targeting capabilities.
To make matters worse for the likes of Google, Microsoft and Apple, I expect Verizon will soon announce its own competing product (disclaimer: I have no inside knowledge of Verizon actually working on this, but it is highly probable that the company would release a competing product, considering Verizon also has mobile, TV and internet offerings/subscribers).
At a time when it appears there could never be a competitor strong enough to take on behemoths such as Google, Apple and Facebook, could a retrograde move back to the telecom giants dramatically shift the future of digital advertising?